BARTESTREE WITH LUGWARDINE GROUP PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2017 AT 7.30 PM IN BARTESTREE VILLAGE HALL
Cllrs: Cllrs Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice Chair); R Williams; P Wargent; M Wilson; D Forrest; Mrs J Karayannis
Mrs C Bucknell (Stand-in Clerk); Wayne Fisher of Hook Mason (Agent) and Mr Boyal (Applicant) for agenda item 4.1
Members of the public: 8
1. To Accept Apologies for Absence: Cllrs D Greenow (Ward Cllr); Cllrs S Garner;
L Hoppé; F Matthews; N Shore;
2. To Adopt the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Group Parish Council held on Tuesday 11 July 2017
The Clerk confirmed that the Minutes had previously been circulated to Council Members
Resolved: The Minutes were adopted and signed by the Chair
3. To Receive Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensation
Item 9 Cllr Wilson – dual hatted as Secretary of the PCC
Items 8 & 12 Cllr Williams – member of PFA and Cricket Club
4.1 Hilltop, Lugwardine – To Receive a Presentation from Wayne Fisher of Hook Mason, regarding proposed development
Mr Fisher stated that the applicant (Mr Boyal) was looking to develop the site as a windfall site, which fitted into the aesthetics of the village and embraced the principles of the NDP. The site was close to the edge of the settlement boundary and was currently in the pre-application process with discussions taking place with the Planning Officer, Highways and Ecology Departments. The dwelling was to be a family home for the applicant.
Comments: It was noted that Simon Withers (Development Manager at Herefordshire Council) had stated that he did not feel that the proposals would fit in with policies BL1 and BL3 of the NDP, also stating that the strategic delivery of housing had been more than met in Bartestree and Lugwardine and as such there was no overriding need for new dwellings. Whilst Mr Fisher stated that the proposals had the support of the Planning Officer this was questioned, with Cllrs also noting that the development was outside of the designated settlement boundary. The Chair commented that Highways did not support the scheme to which Mr Fisher stated that they were aware of the issues and revised drawings had been submitted to address these. It was also noted that in the correspondence with Simon Withers it had been stated by Mr Fisher that the tacit support of the Parish Council had been given, which was not true. Cllrs were keen to record that if this scheme progressed it was to be, as stated, a family home and not a development for resale and a covenant to that effect would be welcomed. Mr Fisher and the applicant stated that a covenant would be acceptable.
Resolved: The majority of Cllrs were not in support of the proposal, which was outside of the settlement boundary and in the important gap in the area between the 2 villages
4.2 Quarry Fields, Lugwardine – To Consider proposed application for 44 dwellings and pre-application comments/plans/proposals regarding proposed layout
Comments: Cllrs did not support the proposal for an additional 14 dwellings, as this would make the site crowded and access dangerous. The site was close to a wooded area and near to New Court which was a Grade 2* listed building and it was felt this needed to be taken into consideration. It was noted that more 2/3-bed properties were needed rather than the 4-bed properties being proposed. It was also noted that Bartestree and Lugwardine had already met its minimum quota as defined in the NDP, with 14 years left of the plan. It was felt that 30 properties could be tolerated if they were spread out and away from existing properties. Concerns were also raised about the capacity of the drainage infrastructure.
The Public were asked for their views and said that they felt there were too many houses being proposed. Comments were also made about pedestrian access to the site being along Cotts Lane, which would not help to alleviate some of the concerns about safety. It was noted that work had already started.
It was noted that this proposal to increase the number of dwellings from 30 to 44 was currently out for consultation and was not yet a full planning application. The public felt that the Parish Council was not supporting them and the Chair asked why this was. A member of the public responded that Cllr Wilson had abstained from commenting at a recent meeting. Cllr Wilson responded that this was because he was a member of the PC Planning Committee and did not wish to pre-empt the discussion.
Resolved: To call the development Quarry Fields
4.3 Land South of A438 (INCA) – to consider initial proposal matters layout for 40 dwellings
Comments: It was felt that the proposed layout was reasonable with the dwellings set back off the road. There was a query about future access to the wooded area and this needed clarifying. It was noted that the two garages accessed from the road needed moving closer to the properties and that the proposals did not include any bungalows which would be a welcome addition. A member of the public asked if the bus stop would be moved slightly further into the site so that it was not under the tree. It was felt the bus shelter could be relocated and needed improving but the suggestion of a bus pull in was not justified.
Resolved: To support the initial proposal noting the comments made above
4.4 To Receive a Verbal Report from the Planning Committee
Comments: The Chairman reported on the Planning Meetings held since the last scheduled Meeting and remarked on the various applications and decisions relating to planning matters, details of which are contained in the Minutes of the Planning Meetings.
4.5 To Note the Minutes of the Planning Committee dated 11 and 25 July 2017
Resolved: The Minutes had previously been circulated to all Cllrs. Noted
5. To Receive Brief Verbal Reports from:
5.1 District Cllr
Resolved: In the absence of Cllr Greenow no Report was given
5.2 Local Police Officer
In the absence of an Officer no Report was given
6. Open Time – To Note Matters Raised by Local Residents Relevant to the Parish
A member of the public asked why there were no dog bins in the Parish, the response being that this would need to be paid for by the Parish Council and whilst dog excrement could be placed in the regular bins it was felt that responsible owners could take their dog faeces home to dispose of. It was suggested that one bin could be put in for a period of 12/18 months to ascertain the cost of this and whether Balfour Beatty would empty it on a regular basis.
Resolved: To do nothing at the present time but to consider this again at a later meeting
7. Financial Matters
7.1 To Receive a Report and Financial Statement from the RFO
Comments: It has been a relatively quiet period for financial transactions since July 2017, with no income and a handful of regular payments for ground maintenance, play area repairs/report and the Clerk’s salary. Full details are contained in the Finance Notes, which have been circulated and posted on the website.
The Spend against Budget will also be circulated with this Report and included as an Appendix to the Minutes. You will see that there have been the following overspends in relation to the amount Budgeted for:-
Play Area Repairs and Expenses £81.78 overspend
Insurance £9.62 overspend
P3 Scheme £604.00 overspend
You may remember that £500 was transferred from Contingencies to Play Area Repairs and Expenses to allow for work that needed to be done. However, there is still an overspend on this item. The £9.62 for insurance relates to an increase in premium tax, which was not foreseeable when the Budget was set.
The Lengthsman and P3 amounts are difficult to deal with as payment is received for this in arrears. I keep a running total of the amount of the grant available for each year and can confirm that both are within the limits available. It seems the amounts budgeted for in November 2016 are less than the grants that became available in April 2017. Also, it should be borne in mind that the Parish Council has to spend an amount before some can be clawed back from the Herefordshire Council by way of grant. Please see the Lengthsman Report for details of the balance available and the work carried out to date.
There have been requests for weed treatment on residential estates again. The cost of this – £400 – has been taken from Lengthsman funds. If a further £400 is taken from Lengthsman funds, then there will only be around £500 of the grant left for work required up until March 2018. As the grant for both Lengthsman and P3 work will be reduced dramatically next year and then to nil, the Parish Council will have to fund such work. Therefore, the next Budget should allow for this and should also allow for 2 lots of weed spraying in residential areas per year, rather than one.
As at 30 August 2017 the Community Account Balance was £18,820.74 and the Business Premium Account was £28,941.50. There are unpresented cheques of £1,130.30.
The balance of both Accounts, taking the above into consideration is £46,631.94 as per the Bank Reconciliation, a copy of which has been circulated to all Cllrs.
Resolved: The Financial Report was noted and accepted by the Council
Proposed: That the budget sheet is changed with respect to the Lengthsman and P3 grant to put in the total amount that the Parish Council has to spend with a note at the bottom to show what grant is available.
Resolved: This was passed with the majority of Cllrs being in favour of the proposal.
7.2 To agree half yearly formal internal audits
Proposed: The Current Clerk to get the financial records up to date by the end of September and to submit these, with the bank statements, to HALC at the beginning of October. To have an audit at the beginning of the new Clerk’s term of office.
Resolved: This was passed with the majority of Cllrs being in favour of the proposal.
7.3 To note bi-monthly audit check by Cllr J Karayiannis
Resolved: The check had been carried out and nothing arises.
7.4 To ratify payments made by Clerk under delegated powers [See Finance Notes]
Resolved: The following payments were ratified:
Eve Wilson – July Salary and R/A (152) £**.**; Bartestree Village Hall – Room Hire (153) £9.75; Daniel Squire – Ground Maintenance (154) £672.00; Playdale – Play Area Repairs (155) £514.20; Eve Wilson – Aug Salary and R/A (156) £**.**
7.5 To approve invoices for payment [see Finance Notes]
Resolved: The following invoices were approved:
Mr M Dyer – Lengthsman (157) £36.00; Autela Payroll Services (158) £38.40; Information Commissioner – Subscription (159) £35.00; Mrs F White – Playground Report (160) £58.60
7.6 To consider spend against budget
Comments: The Chair noted that the spend against budget tallied.
Resolved: Noted. The revised June figures to be re-circulated.
7.7 To consider request for donation from Age UK
Comments: This did not conform with the Donations Policy, which only allowed for donations to local groups.
Resolved: To refuse the request
7.8 To consider fees arising for possible stand in Clerk
Resolved: To offer stand in clerk a one off fee of £50 to include expenses.
8. Gifted Field
8.1 To Consider the request from INCA that the Parish Council accept soil from the development arising out of Application P143720 (40 dwellings) onto the proposed gifted field
Comments: An email had been circulated to all Cllrs offering around 2000 square metres of soil. This would need to be written into the contract for disposal of the field and some form of licence presented to the Parish Council before arrangements could be made. It was stressed that any material must be suitable for levelling and it was confirmed that the soil offered was topsoil.
Resolved: To leave the options open and to get further advice.
8.2 To Receive a Report from the Gifted Field Community Task Force regarding future use of proposed gifted land
Comments: The Group had held a meeting on 3rd August with eight out of nine members present. Wendy Soilleux was appointed as Chair, Lin Hoppé as Vice Chair and Jonathan Jackson as Secretary. It had been agreed that membership should be open to all members of the Bartestree and Lugwardine Community. The purpose of the group was to find an achievable scheme for the use of the field to recommend to the Parish Council. It was noted there would be two major proposals: one from the PFA and one from Richard Laing, the owner of the Lingfield. A large number of smaller suggestions have been made and it had been agreed these should be incorporated as far as possible. The report of the meeting had been circulated to all Cllrs.
Resolved: Report noted
9. To consider position regarding the St Peter’s Church closed burial ground and possible expenses arising
Comments: The Memorial Inspection had not yet been carried out and the PCC had agreed to pay half of the cost (£411 + VAT) with the Parish Council being asked for the remainder. A tree survey had been done.
Resolved: The Parish Council agreed to pay half of the cost of the Memorial inspection (£411 + VAT)
Resolved: It was agreed to have the memorial Survey carried out so that the Burial Ground would be taken over by Herefordshire Council.
10.1 To Receive a Report from the Footpaths and Tree Officer
Comments: Cllr Hoppé was not in attendance at the meeting and there was no report
10.2 To consider the current position regarding the request for the installation of a barrier or similar on PROW LU5 to prevent schoolchildren running from the public footpath across the highway
Comments: Clive Hall, Head of Highways, had reported that a gate/barrier could be put in if there was enough width. It was felt that if the hedge were to be severely cut back this would be possible, ensuring that the gate was the required 4 metres back from the road.
Resolved: This development was noted.
10.3 To agree cost of cutting hedge on PROW LU5 in the sum of £150.00 plus VAT and the potential cost of installing a self-closing gate
The cost of the barrier would be £200-£250 and an additional £250 for fitting. It was noted that it was an action in the Parish Plan and it may be possible to get a grant to do this work.
Resolved: To set aside £750 from the Parish Plan Reserve fund for the cutting back of the hedge and the purchase and fitting of the gate and for the work to be carried out.
10.4 To Consider and discuss possible comments to be submitted on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan Consultation (closing date 10 November 2017)
Comments: The Parish PRoW Officer, Cllr Lin Hoppé, agreed with all the objectives in the report and would, as Footpaths Officer, continue to work towards a fully accessible Group Parish.
Resolved: To support the objectives in the Consultation Report
11. Village Hall
11.1 To Receive any updates from the Village Hall Representatives
Comments: There was nothing to report.
11.2 To Consider terms for payment for the use of the Village Hall by the Parish Council
Comments: It had been agreed that the Village Hall could be used free of charge for community events including the Parish Council Meetings.
12. To Receive any updates from the Playing Fields Association Representatives
Comments: There was nothing new to report
13. Lengthsman Scheme
13.1 To Consider work done/required under the Lengthsman Scheme
Comments: Details of work done was circulated prior to the Meeting. It was noted that the vegetation near to the SID at Williams Mead needed cutting back as it was not visible because of overgrown hedges and trees.
14. Transport Working Group
14.1 To Receive a Report from the Transport Working Group
Comments: There was no report
14.2 To Consider the future of the Transport Working Group
Comments: It was noted that the last recommendation from the Transport Group was not followed and it was therefore proposed that the current group was disbanded and reformed as and when necessary.
Resolved: Proposal agreed by the majority of Cllrs
15. Play Area
15.1 To Consider improvements to Play Areas at Frome Park and the Village Hall
Comments: The Vice Chair had circulated a letter to all P Cllrs that could be sent to all Frome Park residents noting that as part of the agreement to develop the Keepmoat site there had been a sum of money put aside for the Children’s Play Areas at Frome Park and Bartestree Village Hall. The letter noted that the current Frome Park Play Area was out of date and inadequate and the opportunity to improve the facility was welcome. Residents would be asked to make their views known to the Parish Council through the PC website. It was noted that if the Parish Council wished to make improvements to or take over the play area, permission would be required from Herefordshire Council
Resolved: To look at the various options and bring them back to the November meeting
15.2 To Consider Playground Report for 2017 and agree any action required
Comments: It was noted that there was a recommendation to re-lay the mats, which was deemed to be low risk.
Resolved: To consider this once the findings on the proposed refurbishment are known
16. Bus Shelters
16.1 To consider repair of the bus shelter at Frome Park
Comments: It was reported that a new pane of glass would cost in the region of £185, which it was suggested might be able to be claimed on the insurance policy. It was suggested that a better approach would be to replace the glass with something that could not get broken. Herefordshire Council had offered to clean the bus shelters but Cllrs were not sure that the work had been carried out. The PC has £120 in the budget and it was agreed to have the bus shelters cleaned.
Resolved: To get the shelter cleaned but to defer any action on the broken glass until the next meeting.
16.2 To confirm the present situation re bus shelters and decide the way forward
Comments: The Chair presented a document confirming that the bus shelter at Frome Park was owned by the Parish Council with the one at Lugwardine Court being owned by Herefordshire Council. There was no documentation for the remaining 2 bus shelters in the parish. It was noted that Herefordshire Council considered that the Parish Council owned the bus shelters opposite the New Inn, opposite Bartestree Cross Roads and at Frome Park.
Resolved: The Chair would continue to follow this up and bring back to the next meeting
17. To consider adopting and Equality Policy
Comments: More information was awaited from HALC
Resolved: Deferred to next Meeting
18.1 To consider the HALC Southern Area Meeting Report dated 24 July 2017 and discuss any action required by the Parish Council
Comments: The report had been circulated to all Cllrs in advance of the meeting. The Healthwatch presentation was highlighted with a comment that if anyone wanted to be a member they should visit the website.
Resolved: Report Noted
18.2 To agree the appointment of Cllr Mrs Jennifer Karayiannis to the HALC Executive Committee
Resolved: The appointment was unanimously agreed and it was agreed that the Chair could sign the nomination papers
19. To note the Information Sheet
20. Clerk – To receive update on existing Clerk’s resignation and arrangements for a replacement
Comments: It was noted that Eve Wilson has been asked if she would reconsider but had confirmed that she still wished to resign her post. It was noted that CEO HALC was currently organising the application process and interviews were being held shortly.
Motion: Cllr Davies put the following motion forward to the Parish Council
This Council deeply regrets the resignation of our Clerk. This has been prompted mainly by excessive criticism from Cllr Wilson over a long period regarding the Clerk’s handling of the Parish Council financial controls and audit. There is also the most unpleasant manner in which the criticism was communicated. The Council is content that the Clerk’s work has generally been very good in this, and all other aspects, and feels sure that she will be missed. This Council believes that the wrong person has resigned.
Cllr Wilson stated that he felt this motion was a breach of the Code of Conduct and said that he had done what he could to support the Clerk, only pointing out to her what she had not got right. It was added that everyone joined the Parish Council to do the best they could.
Resolved: This motion was supported by all but Cllr Wilson.
The following tribute was paid to Eve Wilson by the Chair.
I am very sorry that Eve Wilson, our very hard working and first fully qualified Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer has handed in her resignation. We found her very easy to work with and really admired the way she got to grips with the complexities of the Group Parish and, at the same time, made the superlative effort to become a qualified Clerk. Her going will be a great loss as we have built up huge confidence in her ability to manage the running and financial matters of the Parish Council. Thank you very much Eve for being with us for the last four years.
Resolved: This tribute was supported and echoed by the other Cllrs
21. To Receive Questions from Cllrs (tabled 7 days prior to Meeting)
Resolved: None Received
22. To Raise Items for the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting [no discussion] Resolved: Condition of the A438 through the village
23. To Note the Date and Time of the next Scheduled Parish Council Meeting
Tuesday 14 November 2017 at 7.30pm
Meeting concluded at 9.30 pm
Signature of Chair Date: 14 November 2017
NB: Any Appendices referred to in the above draft Minutes will be posted with those Minutes once they have been signed by the Chair at the next Scheduled Meeting
MINUTES OF AN EXTRAORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2017 AT 7.30 PM
IN BARTESTREE VILLAGE HALL
Councillors: Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice-Chair); Mrs J Karayiannis; R Williams; N Shore, Mrs F Matthews; S Garner and M Wilson.
Mrs E Wilson (Parish Clerk/RFO);
Members of the public: None
1. To Accept Apologies for Absence
Apologies received from Cllrs P Wargent; D Forrest; and Mrs L Hoppé
2. To Receive Declarations of Interest or Applications for Dispensations
3. To appoint a new Parish Clerk (Private Session)
Resolved: All Councillors agreed that Emma Thomas should be appointed commencing 1 October 2017. She will work 13 hours per week at Scale Rate SP23
4. To Transfer an agreed sum of money into Contingencies
Resolved: Deferred to next Meeting
Meeting concluded at 8.00pm
Signature of Chair Dated: